We had the good fortune of connecting with Luke Hunter James-Erickson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Luke Hunter, what are you inspired by?
Human connection and oppressive systems hold within them unlimited wealths. While I draw from literature, most recently Anatole France’s novel The Revolt of the Angels, and pop science (who among us hasn’t been inspired by A Brief History of Time?), everyday life tends to inspire me most of all. From the relationships I have, to how our society treats others, when looking for something to say, I find no better topic than humanity. It’s through the lense of fantasy and science fiction, through humor and, well, dressing up in silly costumes, that I try to obfuscate my messages so they can appear foreign and new. Really I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before, usually by much more astute poets, authors, songwriters, but I feel like, since it’s fun to sing and play guitar, why not try to amplify the positive messages I’ve learned over the years. Short answer: Terry Pratchett. haha.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Zealot’s story is honestly just a series of wins. We are not a huge band, but we don’t strive to be the biggest. We just strive to make things we love, and challenge ourselves in new ways.

In 2015 I was working full time and going to grad school, on the path to becoming a Film Studies professor. I had the summer off … well, as “off” as “still working full time” is “off” … and because I was used to filling my time with studying, I was sorta going batty. So I decided that by the end of the summer I was going to teach myself guitar and write five songs. And I did it! Technically! By September I technically knew how to play the guitar! Now, I was terrible at it, but I understood the concepts, and knew a few chords by memory. And while the songs were not very good, I did technically have five of them. From there I reached out to my old bandmate Michael King, with whom I’d been playing in bands with since 2011, and asked if he would finally like to play drums in a band. Michael, one of the best bass players in town, agreed. It wasn’t hard to find a great bass player, Nathan Barsness, and lead guitar/secondary vocalist, Kitty Vincent, though I still feel incredibly lucky that they were so willing to sign on.

Since then we’ve recorded and release our first LP, “The Book of Ramifications” (found wherever you stream music), we released a tape of other bands covering all our songs, Nathan amicably left to start a new life in Minnesota (and has thankfully come back to Denver since) and Suzi Bromfeld has joined in on bass. We’re currently writing and recording our second LP, “The January King”. We’ve consistently played smaller shows to a cozy number of audience members, but whenever we play, be it big or small, we’re always so pleased by the fans that come up after and chat with us about our music. There’s nothing like a stranger coming up to you and saying your music is “Mind Blowing”.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The best place to get your hair cut is Revolver Salon. It’s always a treat. Great atmosphere, great staff, and, honestly, I get my hair cut once every 4 months and my hair looks good every day of those 4 months.

My partner Cecile and I just visited Syrup for the first time, and, holy smokes why are people waiting in line at other brunch spots when Syrup is just, like, amazing. We were sat immediately, the food was great, the service was great. 10/10.

And my favorite mexican food place is likely no secret, but is still amazing: La Pasadita Inn. If you don’t know, now you know.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our buddies in Gila Teen have REALLY come into their own. They’re such a terrific band with so much to give, and we are always so proud of them when they release new work.

Website: https://www.zealot.cool

Instagram: instagram.com/zealotco

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zealotco

Facebook: https://facebook.com/zealotco

Other: https://open.spotify.com/track/6zq8M7anXw4pLuDfxOBp1G

Image Credits
Loria Carnefix

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.